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Tampa Bay Buccaneers report coronavirus cases at training center

The team said it would continue operations at its facility in Tampa, Florida.
Image: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers flag flies through the team field entrance before a game in Tampa, Fla., in 2018.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers flag flies through the team field entrance before a game in Tampa, Fla., in 2018.Julio Aguilar / Getty Images file

Multiple people at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training center in Tampa, Florida, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the NFL team said Saturday.

"We can confirm that there have been individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the AdventHealth Training Center," the team said in a statement. "We immediately activated our COVID-19 Response Plan and vacated the affected areas, which will remain closed until extensive sanitization is completed."

The Buccaneers did not say how many people tested positive, but it said the center would remain open and operational as the team prepared for the 2020 season scheduled to begin Sept. 13.

"The individuals who may have been exposed have already been notified and are following the established protocols, which include a 14-day quarantine period," the Buccaneers said in a statement.

ESPN reported Saturday that two players and an assistant coach were among those who tested positive.

The Florida Department of Health issued an advisory Saturday, suggesting people wear masks in public and encouraging those age 65 and older to limit their interactions outside their homes. It also asked Floridians to refrain from joining social gatherings of more than 50 people.

Florida reported its largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases Tuesday with 2,783. The virus put a squeeze on ICU beds in the state with 26 hospitals throughout Florida reporting they had no intensive-care capacity for new patients.

The Buccaneers news came the same day the athletics department at South Carolina's Clemson University reported that 28 of its student athletes and staff members have tested positive for the virus.

"Clemson has notified and isolated each of those individuals who tested positive for a period of at least 10 days," the university said in a statement. "Close known contacts have also been asked to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Most of the total cases have been asymptomatic, and none have required hospitalization."

Also in Florida, the National Hockey League reported Friday that three of 11 players who tested positive for the virus are with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which is shutting down its training facility.

In Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies shut down its Clearwater, Florida, training center Friday after five players tested positive. The Toronto Blue Jays suspended its operations in Dunedin, Florida, after a player displayed symptoms of the coronavirus.

And the San Francisco Giants shuttered its Scottsdale, Arizona, training center after someone who had been there showed symptoms of the virus. The Texas Rangers said it would follow suit with its Surprise, Arizona, center as a precaution.

Juliette Arcodia contributed.